Throughout each semester, our Section engages in numerous activities designed for International students to promote their mutual acquaintance as well as their integration in the local academic and social environment.
All to ensure that the Erasmus or Exchange program constitutes for the Incoming student a fulfilling, enriching and a much cherished experience.
Any adventure abroad naturally carries many worries and obstacles and we wish to overcome some by providing the following services to ease the arrival of the new International students:
- Housing: Incoming students wishing to find accommodation outside the university residence are encouraged to contact us privately for advice on how to deal with the renting situation in Castellanza. As we like to point out, our Section is not a housing agency, but as students we ourselves have firsthand experience in finding accommodation and are eager to help.
- Meet&Greet: for the first week of arrivals, each student who so requested is met at Castellanza train station by members of the Section who will help with the luggage and properly greet him/her with a city and campus tour. The student is then accompanied to the campus residence or other accommodation and helped through the admission proceedings.
- Welcome Days: the first two weeks of the semester are swirling with daily-based activities to foster the widest and deepest knowledge of the surroundings, of the university and most importantly of the International students. The beginning of the Welcome Days is marked by the Orientation Meeting, a two hour conference on facts and figures of ESN, its values and principles, the most relevant information on how to survive in Castellanza and on the semester activities planned ahead. Traditional events are the Welcome Dinner with Italian cuisine offered by the university, the International Dinner which has the International students wear an apron and cook their home country delicacies, the "What's your name?" Party with tags and games to encourage conversation between the students, a themed party, a party held on the beautiful scenery of the Lago maggiore at La Rocca of Arona, sport tournaments. Depending on the season and wheather either a pool party or an ice-skating event is also organised.
Once classes start the regular semester activities kick in:
- Sport Activities: every week single or multiple volleyball, indoor soccer and basket training sessions take place in local pitches provided and paid by the university. Group jogging with exercises is also taking place every Monday. And if it were not enough International students may also access yoga and aerobic sessions twice or three times a week also for free in the campus residence. Sometimes during the semester we may organise also beach volley and ping pong tournaments. Check out all partnerships with local sport structures such as gyms or tennis courts on esncard.org, all of which may be enjoyed by ESNcard holders.
- Weekly hangout: to oppose stressful academic classes and ease the workload we gather every Tuesday for our weekly get-together, an opportunity for all to meet up and enjoy a chill night out at the pub.
- Parties: Milan is famous for its nightlife to the point that trying it out is as much a touristic experience as it is a partying crave. Once every two weeks we organise a night out on a Friday or Saturday every time to a different club to have you experience some of the most acclaimed locations.
- Local typical events: our area is known for folkloristic and traditional fairs and markets taking place each in a different small town nearby, such as Street food Festivals in November, the Carnival Parade in Busto Arsizio in February, the Santa Croce fair with typical Northern Italy food and fireworks in September, or the much acclaimed and ancient Palio di Legnano in May, attracting people well beyond our geographic area, just to name a few. Anytime there is something worth checking out we are keen on organising day trips to those locations and inform you on our dedicated Facebook group.
Also, every semester there are one-time unmissable events you have to check out:
- ESN Castellanza Awards: at the end of everything there needs to be a moment of recollection. Ours is more of a moment to pass judgment upon all deeds and misdeeds of the semester and International students are well caught in this. You will have the power to cast votes upon each other and elect 10 peculiar prizes to fellow Erasmus/Exchange students.
- Farewell Party: before you know it, your semester is over, your wonderful experience is prone to become a cherished and longed-for memory. But not yet. This night, to seal the end of each semester, is to celebrate not only all that has been during the semester, but also what has yet to come.
- SkiTrip/ESNow: Italy has it all, snow in winter and lovely beaches in summer. How could we miss the chance to bring you to both? Either in December for our Section SkiTrip in Santa Caterina or in March for the ESNow organised by ESN Trento we want you to get a glimpse of our lovely Alps and enjoy all the mountain has to offer.
- Tuscany Trip or Venice Trip: one of the two is traditionally organised in each semester. The Tuscany Trip focuses on Florence primarily and Pisa, city of the leaning tower and ends with a traditional meal in a manor on the hills of Tuscany. The Venice Trip, instead allows you to fully experience one of the most famous cities in the world with city tours and a trip to the Burano isle for a glass-blowing demonstration.
- Evento Nazionale: by far the most awaited ESN Italy event of the year, its occurence is limited to the Spring Semester and consists of a four days trip to a seaside location for a proper vacation ESN style. More than 3000 International Students gather every year with most of the Italian ESN Sections participating.
- Incontro Culturale Erasmus: yet another ESN Italy event, traditionally taking place in Rome in the Fall Semester, this gathering is an opportunity to fully embrace the cultural side of the Erasmus/Exchange traveling. Italy is soaked in cultural and historical pearls all waiting to be discovered. ESN Italy organises every year this massive gathering opened by a Conference on the importance of cultural exchange and a Flag parade through the city of all the participating nationalities and followed by three days of city and museum tours.
- Crazy Countdown: who said that New Year's Eve cannot be celebrated in advance? As most International Students will be long gone by then, ESN Politecnico di Milano together with ESN Milano Statale organise every year this amazing party early December, gathering Erasmus students from all over Italy and of course with a proper countdown midway through the party.
- SwimBreak: organised every March by ESN Unicatt, this is the ultimate pool party. Hosted at one of the biggest indoor waterparks of Italy, the lucky participants may enjoy 1100m of slides, bubble baths and many pools all with the background of party music and bars inside.
- International Students Cup: a whole day of sport tournaments in the disciplines of volleyball, indoor soccer and basketball organised by a group of ESN Sections led by ESN Pavia topped with the awarding ceremony, apericena and party. Spring Semester.
- National Erasmus Games: national version of the sport tournaments, all Sections from Italy are invited to select and prepare their Erasmus to form teams in volleyball, beach volley, indoor soccer and basket that will compete in tournaments spanning over three days. Many are the prizes awarded to the worthiest opponents as well as awesome the side activities of this sport holiday. Spring Semester.